A Storyteller’s Point of View

Outtakes 399

A Storyteller’s Point of View

By Cait Collins


I love listening to men and women who know how to tell a story.  As difficult as writing a good story is, speaking off the top of the head, is beyond my comprehension.  I listened to Jeff Campbell tell the story of the Sand Creek Massacre.  He began by telling the point of view of the military leaders who hated the Indian tribes.  Their hate grew until they decided to take out a meeting of the leaders of the Indian nations and government officials.  In the early hours of the morning, US cavalry invaded land around Sand Creek.’

And then the scene changes.  The tribesmen awakened from sleep are confused.  They hear the gunfire and gather around the flag pole where a flag of truce flies.  The soldiers surround them.  And then…

Jeff has a masterful way of moving from one point of view to another.  The change is so seamless there is no hiccup in the story.  Every point of view brings out the emotions, fears, and confusion of the parties as they are attacked and killed.  Every bit of hate and disdain from the soldiers is evident as they pull the triggers.  And what about the shocked silence of the soldiers who disagreed with the renegade military?  Yes, you could feel their disbelief as men, women, and children fall.  And the story is so masterful; you hear, see and feel the events as they unfold.  You can even smell the gun powder in the air.

That ability is truly moving and exciting.  It makes me wish I could write the way Jeff talks.

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